Li pushes for sunlight ties that clouds cannot darken

New Delhi, May 21 (IANS) Reiterating his philosophy that India and China need to shake hands across the Himalayas, visiting Chinese Premier Li Keqiang Tuesday pushed for greater economic integration between the two Asian giants and combining the strengths of their 2.5 billion people to make an impact on the global scene.

At an address organized by the business chamber FICCI and the Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA) at the Taj Palace Hotel here, Li also touched on the festering boundary question between the two neigbours that saw a three-week stand off between their troops earlier this month.

Li, who impressed his elite audience with the traditional Indian greeting of ‘Namaste’ at the start of his address and then peppered it with interesting quotes, said that both nations have agreed to push forward negotiations on the border issue through their special representatives who are to meet soon.

While stating that India and China stood for a “fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable solution” to resolution of their boundary issue, Li said that their bilateral relations were such that “clouds cannot send out the brilliant sun of their relationship”.

Emphasising that the two nations must foster closer relations to together make an impact on the Asian and global sphere, Li said : “I believe that when India and China speak in one voice the world must listen” — something that Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said in the past.

Reiterating his philosophy of the handshake across the Himalayas, the mountain ranges that separate the two neighbours, Li said India and China not only need to shake hands but “stand at a higher level (from the Himalayas) to get a bird’s eye view” of their ties and the world.

Li touched on India’s concerns on river flows of the Brahmaputra that originate in China and on the bilateral trade imbalance.

He said a “dynamic trade balance” between India and China is sustainable. Li left for Mumbai at the end of a three-day trip, his first halt of a four-nation trip that will also take him to Pakistan, Switzerland and Germany. This was his first foreign visit after assuming charge as part of a leadership transition in Beijing in March.

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